In the Media

  • Canadian Author/Artist Daniel H. Dugas delivers public lectures at Brock

    Daniel H. Dugas’ most recent volume, published in 2015.

    The programs Etudes en français (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Interdisciplinary Humanities, Studies in Arts and Culture (Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts) and Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts of Brock University are pleased to welcome Canadian author/artist Daniel H. Dugas for two public lectures!

    Dugas writes and creates art in a variety of forms. Technology, ecology, and economy are recurrent themes often explored in his work; poetry and video poetry are two favourite platforms. Whether his projects are first accomplished in French or English, Dugas’ motivations remain similar.

    In 2018 Dugas was awarded a major recognition on the Canadian francophone art/literary scene. He is the ‘Artiste de l’année en littérature’, a distinction awarded at the Eloizes 2018 by the ‘Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau Brunswick’. Please see link below:

    ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1099324/les-eloizes-2018-une-celebration-reussie-de-la-culture-acadienne

    Public lecture in English: Thursday January 25, 2018

    Time: 2-3 pm

    Location: MW 156 (Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, downtown St. Catharines)

    Dugas will talk about his individual and collaborative practice with a focus on the ecological work created in partnership with Valerie LeBlanc over several years.

    The artist’s talk will be in English.

    Canadian Author/Artist Daniel H. Dugas

    Canadian Author/Artist Daniel H. Dugas

    Conférence en français : vendredi 26 janvier 2018

    horaire : 1-2 pm

    lieu : PL 410, Campus principal (Brock University)

    Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son neuvième recueil de poésie L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

    La présentation se fera en français.

    This is a free community event.  Tickets are not required.

    For more information contact Professor Catherine Parayre, cparayre@brocku.ca

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    Categories: Events, In the Media, News

  • World-class photographer with a Brock connection

    “One of Them Is a Human #1” by Maija Tammi won third place in this year’s Taylor-Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Tammi studied photography at Brock in 2008-09 with Visual Arts professor Amy Friend. (Image copyright Maija Tammi; Used by permission).

    (Source: The Brock News | Friday Dec. 15, 2017 by Alison Innes)

    At first glance, the photo is a portrait of a young woman.

    On closer inspection, the ‘woman’ isn’t human at all. It is, in fact, an android called Erica, developed by Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories in Osaka University, Japan.

    The photograph, taken by Finnish artist Maija Tammi and titled “One of Them is a Human #1,” won third prize in this year’s prestigious Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

    The photograph also has a surprising Brock connection.

    Finnish artist Maija Tammi, who studied at
    Brock University in 2008-09

    Tammi spent a year studying film and art at Brock University in 2008-09. Although she already had a background in photojournalism, her experience at Brock, and in particular a course with Professor Amy Friend, encouraged her towards art photography.

    “The Visual Arts program at Brock offers an abundance of opportunity for one-on-one interactions in class with students and professors,” says Friend.

    Such interactions allow for personalized and concentrated instruction that allow students to reach their potential.

    “Maija flourished in this environment and took advantage of the surrounding community with her interactive installations and thought-provoking course projects,” says Friend.

    Tammi cites the film Five Obstructions, which she first saw in Friend’s course, as particularly influential.

    The 1967 film shows the remaking of the same story five times, each with a different obstruction. This process of rethinking and reframing inspired Tammi.

    “Once you have thought of a concept,” she explains, “you rethink it several times from different perspectives.”

    Tammi was immediately interested in the ways obstructions can encourage creativity and used the idea in her class project, redoing the same photograph multiple times with different obstructions.

    This experience in Friend’s course influenced her approach to photography. She gives herself obstructions, such as limiting her camera gear, to encourage her own creativity.

    Tammi is particularly attracted to portraiture, which she says tells us more about ourselves as viewers of the photograph than the subject of the photo as we project our stereotypes on them.

    One of Them is a Human #1 has attracted a lot of attention in the arts community. Although the Taylor Wessing contest rules state that the subject needs to be alive, Tammi’s photograph was accepted because it raises important questions about what it means to be human.

    “I’m very excited about the conversation that has arisen,” Tammi says. “It is time to think about what it means to be alive.”

    Tammi doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects; she is currently completing a practise-based PhD exploring representations of sickness in art photography.

    “I like topics that are very difficult and people don’t like to talk about,” she says.

    Friend, who exhibited work in the same show as Tammi in New York in August 2015, has been watching her former student’s success closely.

    “Her success is indicative of the connections that many students make with classmates and professors,” Friend says. “When I see opportunities that fit her areas of expertise I send them her way. These are the types of extended interactions that happen when we are given space to know our students.”

    Tammi’s work was one of three finalists chosen from more than 5,717 submissions. Selected submissions, including the shortlisted portraits and competition winner, are on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • A Special One Night Art Exhibition

    On January 17, students from Donna Akrey’s 3M90 Advanced Art Practices will be “transplanting their work into the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts building”. Everyone is invited to explore this one night exhibition between 4 and 9 p.m. Maps will be given out to help navigate the space to see the works – some easy to find, others more hidden.

    Invasive Species is a collection of self-directed works from third and fourth year students in the 3M90 ADVANCED ART PRACTICES course. This exhibition focuses on themes of information, architecture, the archive, regionality, subjectivity and objectivity, death, resilience, ecology, mental health, space, the institution, invasive and symbiotic species, and site-specific art. The works are comprised of painting, drawing, video, projection, animation, performance, and installation. All of the artists respond to the unique specificities and conditions of the facility and its site.

    Victoria Reid, visual arts student in Donna Akrey’s 3M90 course says her objective is “to personify objects in the architecture and space around us to show our connection to the architecture. I chose to do this in order to bring awareness to our relationship and contribution to the growing industrial landscape around us.”

    This event marks the mid-year point as the student progress to a final site-specific exhibition proposed to take over parts of downtown St. Catharines in April 2018.

    In order to provoke creativity and thought into this exhibition, Akrey asked her students, “if your work was to fit in this space (the MIW) and not the white cube – where might it go?” She says, “This allows the students to consider their work outside of the gallery and in effect pushes research further (as well as the logistics of mounting visual art in difficult spaces). The students have risen to it and are doing a great job.”

    Reid comments on what this course and the opportunity of this exhibition has taught her, “Through the process of making this work, I learned how to step outside my comfort zone and I learned that art can be art, even when in unconventional spaces apart from the gallery.”

    Donna Akrey is a part-time instructor of visual arts at Brock University. Her exhibition, Also Also held at Rodman Hall from February to April of 2017, was nominated for Exhibition of the Year: Budget Under $20, 000 (Monographic) Award by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG). Her collaboration as a member of the Hamilton Perambulatory Unit was recently seen in the Downtown/s – Urban Renewals Today for Tomorrow: The 2017 Windsor-Essex Triennial of Contemporary Art.

    Isabella Domaradzki, artist, member of the organizational team for Invasive Species, and student in the 3M90 course says what she looks forward to most about this one night exhibition “is seeing our hard work in creating our art and planning this show come to life. We have learned so many valuable lessons throughout this experience that have shaped our identity as artists, and I think it will be exciting to visualize our growth and progress!”

    This one night exhibition is a free event held at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts from 4 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday Jan. 17. Refreshments and snacks will be served in the MIWSFPA lobby. Visit the Invasive Species Facebook event page to stay updated with this exciting event.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Brock photographers snap up art show awards

    Danny Custodio collaborated with his father to create compositions exploring tar’s organic forms and textures.

    (Source: The Brock News | Wednesday Dec. 6, 2017 by Alison Innes)

    Two Brock photographers were recently honoured for their ability to capture compelling imagery.

    Visual Arts student Denise Apostolatos and Administrative Assistant Danny Custodio, from the Rodman Hall Art Centre, both won awards at RMG Exposed: Out of this World, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery art show and charity auction held Nov. 25.

    Oil and Vinegar by Visual Arts student Denise Apostolatos, received first place in the youth category at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery Exposed: Out of this World annual photography show and auction.

    Oil and Vinegar by Visual Arts student Denise Apostolatos, received first place in the youth category at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery Exposed: Out of this World annual photography show and auction.

    Apostolatos’ work, Oil and Vinegar, won first place in the youth category from a shortlist of 40 works from across North America. 

    She says it was “truly an honour” to be named the winner of the youth category, and to receive two consecutive acceptances to participate in RMG Exposed.

    “As an undergraduate student, these opportunities are unique in that they provide a professional outlet to gain recognition and network in a larger context,” she says.

    Apostolatos credits the artistic and professional guidance she receives in the Visual Arts program for fostering her development as a creative professional.

    “As an undergraduate artist, it is important to see her work outside of the classroom and in the professional art community,” says Visual Arts Professor and Department Chair Donna Szoke. “We are thrilled to see Denise’s work being celebrated.”

    The award is also a means to recognize the “talent being produced here in Niagara in our Visual Arts program at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts,” she says.

    Rodman Hall’s Danny Custodio took first place in the Conceptual/Non-Representational category at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery’s Exposed: Out of this World annual photography show and auction. He is pictured with award sponsor Mason Bennett of Johncox professional Corporation.

    Rodman Hall’s Danny Custodio took first place in the Conceptual/Non-Representational category at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery’s Exposed: Out of this World annual photography show and auction. He is pictured with award sponsor Mason Bennett of Johncox professional Corporation.

    Custodio received the Conceptual/Non-Representational Prize for his image Tar, which explores themes of blue-collar labour.

    “Tar is a commonly used substance in roofing, the profession my father worked for 45 years,” says Custodio, who collaborated with his father to create compositions exploring tar’s organic forms and textures.

    RMG Exposed: Out of this World brings together artists, collectors and curators to celebrate digital photography and support free arts programming for kids and families. The event, now in its eighth year, includes both live and silent auctions of images carefully selected from 466 submissions.

    The event is designed to recognize contemporary photographers and draws artist submissions from across Canada and the United States.

    The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is a public art museum in Oshawa and features a collection of over 4,500 works including Canadian contemporary art and photography.

    To view this year’s images, visit the RMG Exposed website.

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    Categories: Current Students, In the Media, News

  • Acting exercise helps prepare co-op students for workplace

    From small talk at the water cooler to encounters with testy photocopiers, students embarking on co-op work-terms never quite know the situations they may experience in their new workplace.

    To help lessen stress and increase comfort heading into a new environment, Brock Dramatic Arts students recently visited their co-op peers to share some scenarios they may be faced with.

    Comprised primarily of Dramatic Arts students under the direction of Joe Norris, Dramatic Arts Chair and Professor of Drama in Education and Applied Theatre, Mirror Theatre spent time in three Co-op Education classes over the past few weeks to provide guidance and reassurance by acting out scenes in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.

    Dramatic Arts exercise in co-op class

    Co-op students Daniel O’Leary, left, and Marsel Avdic, right, play tug of war with fourth-year Dramatic Arts student and Mirror Theatre member Sumer Seth during an ‘Awkward Elevator’ scene.

    The group write and present interactive scenes on a variety of social issues, with the latest art-based research project exploring the interpersonal dynamics of work placements from entry to exit.

    Using applied theatre, experiential and problem-based learning theories and techniques, the students present scenes that address worker safety, on-site learning, asking for help, dealing with unreasonable demands and degree of personal sharing and assessment. Audience members redirect the scenes from their seat and, at times, come on stage to try to act out their thoughts through role-play.

    The initiative was intended to generate discussion amongst the co-op students on a variety of work-related topics in the 0N90 class.

    Students were asked to put themselves in the actors’ shoes in order to understand how they would handle each of the given situations in real life.

    “I would recommend this type of interactive learning in future classes,” said second-year Public Health co-op student Micaela Snow following the exercise. “I feel like the presentation gave us a deeper understanding of expectations and work etiquette rather than if we just listened to the professor talking about it.”

    Julia Zhu, Brock’s Associate Director of Co-op Education, hoped the experience helped to “facilitate ‘a rehearsal for life’ by offering an opportunity for students to safely test out their approach to impromptu social, ethical and culture situations.”

    Course facilitator Ashley Haroutunian said she was impressed by the level of engagement students displayed as they watched the vignettes and participated in the discussions and re-enactments.

    “They demonstrated a keen ability to reflect and contribute thoughtful observations and suggestions to help the players navigate the challenging workplace scenarios and conflicts,” she said. “Professor Norris and his students did an excellent job of supporting their learning by inviting, encouraging and involving students in the process.”

    Mirror Theatre has previously worked with Brock’s English as a Second Language Services in addressing academic integrity issues; Student Health, examining mental health and drinking issues; Health and Safety, discussing violence in the workplace; a Health Sciences class, articulating challenges of patient care; and the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation’s TA training sessions. The group’s members are heading to New York in April to present their arts-based research at the American Educational Research Association.

    Mirror Theatre members who participated in the recent co-op exercises include fourth-year Con-Ed Dramatic Arts students Mike Metz and Lindsey Abrams, third-year Psychology and Dramatic Arts student Nadia Ganesh, fourth-year Dramatic Arts and Education student Aaron Drake, fourth-year Con-Ed student Abby Rollo, second-year Con-Ed Dramatic Arts student Dani Shae Barkley, fourth-year Dramatic Arts student Sumer Seth and first-year Dramatic Arts student Dawson Strangway.

    Speaking with Mirror Theatre members on how this group has impacted their lives, Mike Metz, fourth year Con-Ed Dramatic Arts student says, “When I started Mirror Theatre in my first year, I was a Con-Ed math student. Mirror Theatre was one of the major reasons I decided to switch my major to Drama.”

    Lindsey Abrams, fourth year Con-Ed Dramatic Arts student adds, “Mirror Theatre has given me the opportunity to explore my love for theatre through different lenses as an actor, prospective educator, and learner.  I get the opportunity to explore all different areas of theatre that can be presented, and feel as though I am always a part of a team.”

    When Nadia Ganesh, third year Psychology and Dramatic Arts student was asked what she enjoys about participating in Mirror Theatre, she said, “I love the fact that Mirror Theatre gives me the ability to impact the lives of others even if it is only in a minor way. If it’s just making one person laugh, I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to affect that individual in a positive way.”

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Work of Visual Arts prof featured on Diana Krall tour

    The artwork of Brock Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend is being featured on the international tour of renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, November 2, 2017 | By: Maryanne Firth)

    When the e-mail popped into Amy Friend’s inbox, she was certain it couldn’t be real.

    But a feeling inside prompted the Brock Fine Arts assistant professor to respond to the inquiry, which asked about her artwork and whether she’d consider collaborating with renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

    It was soon after that Friend found herself on the phone with the Grammy Award winner discussing possibilities for her upcoming tour.

    Friend’s experimental photography has since helped Krall to set the scene on stage, acting as her backdrop as she captivates crowds in venues across North America and Europe.

    Brock University Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend.

    Friend’s work has been featured on the jazz singer’s international tour since June and the partnership is expected to continue through to the summer.

    The project, which includes art pieces from three different bodies of work, has been “particularly fulfilling,” Friend said.

    She has enjoyed the challenge of working with Krall to find pieces that fit the mood and message of individual songs, while also complementing the title of the tour and Krall’s most recent album, Turn Up the Quiet.

    “It’s about trying to respect your own work, while also seeing how you can accommodate a vision that will fit within the repertoire they’re working with,” she said.

    Friend is currently working to select new pieces for Krall’s Canadian tour dates, including a Nov. 24 show at Massey Hall in Toronto that she plans to attend.

    “I’m looking forward to seeing her perform and to seeing my work filling the stage in a concert hall where I have heard musicians like Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and Nick Cave perform,” she said.

    Krall’s latest repertoire will include a cover of Bob Dylan’s Simple Twist of Fate, which Friend is particularly excited to find a piece to accompany.

    “Much of my work revolves around ideas of memory, impermanence, history and time,” said Friend, who has worked at Brock for the past decade. “I am less concerned with capturing a ‘concrete’ reality. Instead, I aim to use photography as a medium that offers the possibility of exploring the relationship between what is visible and non-visible.”

    Work featured on the tour includes hand-manipulated photographs, pieces featuring floating handkerchiefs once belonging to Friend’s grandparents, and artwork inspired by snippets of film from her childhood.

    Over the past few months, Friend and Krall have shared many inspiring conversations about family, creativity and women in the arts.

    “She has been so great to work with, you could almost forget her status in the music world,” Friend said.

    Krall often emphasized the need to respect Friend’s work and always checks in with the artist to ensure she’s pleased with the end results of each tour stop.

    Friend called it “refreshing” to be able to engage with other artists.

    “It exposes you to experiences that have commonalities and, at times, interesting variances,” she said. “It’s also wonderful to see how my work found a place to exist far beyond my initial intentions.”

    The team responsible for the on-stage initiative also included Judy Jacob, a video and visual content director, and Paul Normandale, a lighting designer, who Friend said “took the project to the next level.”

    In addition to her work with the tour, Friend has been busy over the past year with international exhibitions in Spain, Korea, Poland, Portugal and France. She has shows coming up in Boston and Italy and plans to release a new book in the near future.

    Amy Friend's work featured on Diana Krall's tour

    The artwork of Brock Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend is being featured on the international tour of renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

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    Categories: Department/Centre News, In the Media, News

  • Donna Szoke’s work featured in New Media Caucus.

    Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts, Donna Szoke’s work is discussed in the on-line journal New Media Caucus in an article by Lisa Moren, Professor of Visual Art and Graduate Program Director of Intermedia + Digital Art, MFA Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County [UMBC]. Her interactive video installation and all watched over by machines of loving grace is a humorous intervention in the dystopian reality of contemporary dataveillance and societies of control.

    Image courtesy of Tim Nohe.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Brock co-led research to study police training in mental illness

    Dr. Natalie Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, September 13, 2017 | by Cathy Majtenyi)

    It’s the heat of the moment. A person in mental health distress is waving a knife in the air, yelling or screaming or perhaps even silent. A police officer is on the scene.

    What happens next?

    It’s a question that undoubtedly will come up in Toronto police Constable James Forcillo’s appeal trial, which started Monday. Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder for the 2013 shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.

    It’s also a question that Brock University researchers Natalie Alvarez and Yasmine Kandil are exploring in their research on how to use theatre to train police officers.

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts, along with Yasmine Kandil, an assistant professor in Dramatic Arts, are co-leading a study that will create and evaluate the effectiveness of a type of scenario-based police training grounded in problem-based training methods the team refers to as ‘forum scenarios.’

    In forum scenarios, a scene is played out for an audience. The scene is then performed again, but an audience member can step in to intervene by making different choices, creating a different outcome and changing the way a particular issue is viewed or dealt with. It’s a form of teaching and learning that promotes the principles of procedural justice.

    Theatre educators Alvarez and Kandil of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, and Wilfred Laurier forensic psychologist Jennifer Lavoie, alongside their cross-Canada team with specializations in mental illness and de-escalation training, are partnering with the Durham Regional Police and collaborators from the Ontario Police College.

    The federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has awarded the team a $310,960 grant to carry out the four-year study.

    “Experiential learning through forum methods is much more effective in integrating knowledge, being able to apply that knowledge and retain it long term,” says Alvarez. The study builds on Alvarez’s upcoming book that examines the use of immersive simulations in a variety of training and educational contexts.

    Experts involved in the scenarios aim to teach police officers how to recognize behavioural characteristics of various mental illnesses that may present barriers to communication in high-stakes encounters, the impacts and consequences that certain actions will have on the person in crisis, and how to de-escalate volatile situations.

    “We want to recreate situations where the officer perceives a situation where there’s an imminent threat, they’re under extreme stress, and they have to make refined, ethical judgments in that moment of stress,” says Alvarez.

    The team will also address mental health stigmas and misconceptions.

    For Alvarez, the research is not just academic.

    “My oldest sister suffers from schizophrenia and she’s become an advocate for the rights of people living with mental illness,” says Alvarez, adding that her sister frequently gives talks to RCMP officers on the subject.

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  • Material Girls opens at Rodman Hall

    Soheila Esfahani is one of 25 artists featured in Material Girls, an exhibition that opened Sept. 14 at Rodman Hall. She is pictured with her work, Cultured Pallets: Persian.

    (originally published in The Brock News on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2017 by Alison Innes)

    Women have claimed the spotlight at Rodman Hall this fall with a new large-scale exhibition.

    Material Girls — all about women taking up space — brings together work by 25 Canadian and international artists from across all artistic disciplines and cultural backgrounds. The exhibition, which opened Sept. 14, explores how material processes and ideas of excess relate to the feminized body and gendered space.

    “At Rodman Hall, we strive to be an agent of social change, presenting exhibitions that have resonance within our community, while engaging with dialogues beyond it,” says Rodman Hall Curator Marcie Bronson. “Among the issues our curatorial team took into consideration when planning to present Material Girls is the reality that our community is ranked one of the worst places in Canada to be a woman.”

    Niagara is considered one of the worst places in the country for women to live. A 2016 review by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ranked St. Catharines 19 out of Canada’s largest 25 metropolitan areas in terms of women’s education, health, personal security, economic security and positions of leadership.

    Women who are working in Niagara are earning 75 per cent of what men make for the same work. Out of all the communities surveyed, Niagara has the lowest level of full-time female employment, despite women being more likely than men to have completed higher education. Women are also underrepresented in leadership roles in government and business.

    “It is our hope that this exhibition and related programming will spark not only dialogue, but more importantly, action to affect the positive and lasting change that is necessary to close the gender gap and reach our city’s vision of being dynamic, innovative, sustainable and livable,” Bronson explains.

    Hosting the exhibition in Rodman’s historic domestic space is particularly meaningful.

    “The show Material Girls has inserted itself into the house, and has re-imagined this domestic space in a way that pulls the focus towards women,” explains Gallery Assistant Lauren Regier. “This is especially significant as there is little known about the Merritt women — Mary Benson Merritt and Maud Hudson Merritt — both of whom seem to have resided in the house longer than their respective husbands.”

    Rodman Hall has partnered with YWCA Niagara to present an outreach program that invites girls in Grades 10 to 12 to explore visual arts materials within the themes of taking up space and the feminized body. Participants in Power Girl Material Girl will create a collaborative installation that will be on view at Rodman Hall beginning Nov. 17 and wrapping up alongside the full Material Girls exhibition Dec. 30.

    The exhibition, for which tours are available Saturdays at 2 p.m., is curated by Blair Fornwald, Jennifer Matotek and Wendy Peart of the Dunlop Art Gallery, a unit of the Regina Public Library.

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    Categories: Alumni, Department/Centre News, In the Media, News

  • Teutloff loved art — and how it looked on Brock’s campus

    Pathfinder: In 1990, The Path of Possibilities was installed at Brock, the first sculpture of what would become the Teutloff Collection.

    This article was originally published by Kevin Cavanagh in the Brock News on Friday, August 25, 2017.

    Lutz Teutloff made his mark on Brock University’s landscape like few others have ever done.

    The philanthropist and art collector died in Germany this month at the age of 79, leaving a remarkable legacy that included populating the Brock campus with major pieces of contemporary sculpture that today are landmarks as familiar as the Schmon Tower.

    Lutz Teutloff in 1990: He saw Brock’s campus as an ideal place to display public sculptures.

    The Teutloff Collection is 12 art pieces that made their way to Brock during the 1990s, works owned by Teutloff but created by such international artists as Ilan Averbuch, Buky Schawrtz, Pit Kroke, Fabrizio Plessi, Grimsby resident Reinhard Reitzenstein and others.

    The artwork’s destiny for Brock can be traced to a campus tour that Teutloff had with then-president Terry White in 1988. Teutloff, who had homes in Germany and in Niagara-on-the-Lake, thought the campus’s natural setting was an excellent showcase for strong artwork. They worked out a plan in which Teutloff and his wife Hannelore would loan sculptures that the young University could put on public display.

    The first piece arrived in 1990, when Averbuch’s The Path of Possibilities was installed in front of Schmon Tower. In 2015 it was moved to its present site near the busy pedestrian mall between Cairns Research Complex and Chown D Block.

    Other pieces followed, two of the most high-profile being Kroke’s Gran Golar, placed in the traffic circle of University Road East; and Averbuch’s She Wolf, the huge copper sculpture that resides in Isaac Brock Circle, and which has enjoyed a special status with many students over the years.

    In 1997, Hannelore Teutloff told Brock’s Collections Coordinator, Lesley Bell, that the idea for the Brock collection started in 1987, when her husband acquired Path of Possibilities at the Chicago Art Fair.

    The sculpture Gran Golar welcomes campus visitors at the Glenridge Avenue entrance.

    “He was fascinated by the expression of this work,” said Hannelore, “but had no place for the work at that time. That same year he met former President Terry White who toured him through the Brock campus. Lutz was fascinated from the power and engagement behind Brock, and the different nations of the students impressed him. So Lutz asked Terry White and later, (White’s successor) President David Atkinson …. who was thrilled to bring Ilan’s work in front of the Schmon Tower. So it started – very pragmatic.”

    The Teutloffs chose works specifically for a student audience, and when Lutz Teutloff received an Honorary Doctorate from Brock in 2003, he told the Convocation audience that Path of Possibilities “signals the possibilities open to you who are studying here, the opportunities and privilege you should make the most of.”

    Visual Arts Associate Professor Derek Knight worked with Teutloff to produce the 2002 catalogue The Teutloff Collection at Brock University: Nature, Spirit, Matter, available in Brock’s James. A Gibson Library.

    “It was Mr. Teutloff’s penchant for sculpture that drew him to Brock,” said Knight.  “He saw the potential of the University environs, its broad green spaces and pedestrian concourses, as an ideal context in which to display a collection of public sculpture. To the University’s credit, it was a willing partner in bringing a dozen unique works of contemporary art to Niagara. It is a cultural legacy that Mr. Teutloff intended us to enjoy in perpetuity.”

    Born in Berlin in 1938, Teutloff had been a successful fashion entrepreneur, enabling him to pursue his passion for art. He eventually left fashion behind, accumulated pieces by artists and photographers around the world, and opened galleries in Cologne and in the German town of Bielefeld-Theesen.

    In reporting Teutloff’s death this summer, the website Neue Westfalische noted that (translated from German), “In his ‘second home’ Canada, he donated 12 sculptures from renowned artists to Brock University, Ontario.”

    The Brock sculptures were originally installed on loan, but in 2008 the University began a process to acquire the works permanently. They now belong to Brock.

     

    The artists, works and current locations for the complete Teutloff Collection are:

    Ilan Averbuch:

    • She Wolf (1991) — Isaac Brock Circle
    • The Path of Possibilities (1988) — East pedestrian mall
    • The Endless March (1991) — on extended loan off campus
    • Bleeding Harp (1989) — Thistle West corridor

    Reinhard Buxel:

    • Das Tor [The Gate] (1989) — Isaac Brock Blvd N.

    Pit Kroke:

    • Gran Golar (1987) — traffic circle, University Rd. E.

    Fabrizio Plessi:

    • La Stanza della Parole (1992) — Academic South corridor

    Reinhard Reitzenstein:

    Buky Schwartz:

    Unterbezirks Dada:

    • Fin de Siècle (1994-97) — University Rd E

     

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